Aaron Rogers and the Packers clinch No.1 seed
Jordan Stephenson – Staff Writer
With Matt LaFleur as a coach, the Packers have had three 1st round byes in the playoffs, and back-to-back No.1 seeds. One thing he hasn’t accomplished was wrapping it up with one game left, but in actuality they did expand the regular season from 16 to 17 games. Before the Packers started their game vs the Vikings, they knew if they win this game, that the Lions game next week would be meaningless. The Cardinals win vs the Cowboys helped the feat come to fruition.
In the Vikings game they took care of business, by beating them 37-10. Aaron Rogers went 29 of 38 for 288 yards, and Davante Adams had 11 receptions for 136 yards with a touchdown. The biggest question going into the playoffs is will the Packers do more with the top seed, than losing consecutive years in the NFC championship game. First the Packers have to decide how they want to handle the Lions game.
The past 2 years their last regular season game had playoff implications, but this year they already locked up the No.1 seed. Now the Packers have to choose between resting their starters to preserve health or playing the starters to keep them sharp. My plan for the Packers would be to play the starters, manage their minutes, and if someone gets a knick-knack injury, sit them out for the rest of the game without hesitation. It makes sense to do this because you’re keeping them sharp for the playoffs, they’re already going to have a week to rest because of the bye week, and most importantly 2 weeks with no live NFL games could spell doom for them.
LaFleur said, “That does seem, for me right now speaking, like a long time.” He then said, “We’ll have conversations tomorrow certainly with our staff, players, and then we’ll make the best decision for us.” Lastly he said, “I’d say my gut is that these guys are going to play at least a little bit next week.”
A big factor into LaFleur’s decision is Rogers fractured pinky toe, which he has been nursing and managing most of the season.
Rogers’ toe didn’t seem to bother him, even in the 11 degrees and bitter cold. Rogers said, “This is the first game that my toe got through the game without any issues.” He also said, “I’m going to play next week, and I expect Davante to play, and our guys to play, so we’re looking forward to finishing off the season on a high note and getting the bye.”
Adams said, “Having two weeks off is to each his own, but I wouldn’t want to do that so I want to play next week, at least a little bit.” He then said, “I’m definitely going to prepare to go out there and play. I also want to get out there and run around a little bit for sure.”
This season was comprised of a lot of drama: from the Rogers offseason hold out, to the Jordan Love starting saga, to the heartbreaking NFC championship loss to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers, to Rogers’ vaccination debacle, and lastly starting the season off with a 38-3 disastrous loss to the Saints.
The Packers overcame all of this to become the No. 1 overall seed in the NFL. The Packers also became the first team in NFL history with three consecutive 13-plus win seasons. I definitely believe they’ll overcome their NFC championship game woes, make it to the Super Bowl and win a championship, after a decade plus drought.